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Plan de Desarrollo Soy Barranquilla

$635 million
Environmental and Social Review Summary

Environmental and Social Review Summary

Soy Barranquilla Development Plan

This Environmental and Social Review Summary (ESRS) is prepared by MIGA staff and disclosed prior to the date on which MIGA’s Board of Directors considers the proposed issuance of a Contract of Guarantee. Its purpose is to enhance the transparency of MIGA’s activities. This document should not be construed as presuming the outcome of the decision by MIGA’s Board of Directors. Board dates are estimates only.

Any documentation that is attached to this ESRS has been prepared by the project sponsor, and authorization has been given for public release. MIGA has reviewed the attached documentation as provided by the applicant, and considers it of adequate quality to be released to the public, but does not endorse the content.

MIGA has been requested to provide guarantees covering non-shareholder loans by Deutsche Bank AG and other potential commercial lenders yet to be identified to Distrito Especial, Industrial y Portuario de Barranquilla (hereafter ‘the Municipality’). The non-shareholder loans will be used by Barranquilla in support of the ‘Soy Barranquilla’ (I am Barranquilla) program (hereafter ‘the Program’), which represents the Municipality’s 2020 -2023 Urban Development Plan.

The Program is divided into 4 categories: (1) Soy Conectada (I am Connected) which seeks to invest in the city’s urban infrastructure by improving the accessibility and quality of public services and infrastructure (including education and healthcare); (2) Soy Equitativa (I am Equitable) which seeks to provide equal opportunities for women, young adults and people with disabilities, through quality basic/middle/higher education, improved healthcare coverage, greater urban mobility and spaces, and accelerated job creation; (3) Soy Biodiverciudad (I am Biodiver-city) which aims to promote urban sustainable development through environmental protection and restoration projects, and to tackle climate change effects and (4) Soy Atractiva y Próspera (I am Attractive and Prosperous) which seeks to provide more attractive public spaces for communities and businesses.

The proceeds of the MIGA-guaranteed financing will be used for the development and construction of 12 high-priority sub-projects (hereafter referred to individually as ‘the Sub-Projects’, and together as ‘the Project’), which are part of the Soy Barranquilla Program; these are:


  1. Neighborhood Infrastructure (Barrios a la Obra) phase 7 and 8: This Sub-Project consists of paving/restoring approximately 65 kilometers (km) of roads, of which 55 km are related to phase 7 and 10 km to phase 8, in low-income neighborhoods of Barranquilla. The Sub-Project represents a continuation of the ongoing Barrios a la Obra master program, which has been developed in phases. This Sub-Project will include phase 7, currently in execution (80% completed), and phase 8, in planning stage. 
  2. Home Improvement and Rehabilitation (Mejoramiento de Vivienda): This Sub-Project consists of improving existing housing structures and conditions targeting low-income neighborhoods and both formal and informal homeowners. These improvements include provision of sanitation facilities, updating electrical wiring, and floor, roof improvements, as well as structural refurbishing, depending on the needs of the housing units. The Sub-Project represents a continuation of the ongoing Mejoramiento de Vivienda master program, which has been developed in phases. The loan will finance the current phase of this master program (which has a progress status of 98%) and the subsequent phase, currently in planning stage.
  3. Upgrade of Street 30 (Adición Calle 30): This Sub-Project consists of upgrading and improving a 5.8 km section of Street 30 (a major diagonal transverse road) by renovating road paving, traffic signages, including drainage lines, sidewalks, landscaping, and street LED (light-emitting diode) lighting. This Sub-Project is under execution (76% completed).
  4. Upgrade of Cordialidad Avenue (Adición Coordialidad): This Sub-Project consists of upgrading and improving a 5.2 km section of Cordialidad Avenue (a major diagonal transverse road) by renovating road paving, traffic signages, including drainage lines, sidewalks, landscaping, and street LED lighting. This Sub-Project is under execution (66% completed).
  5. Tajamar Train (Tren Tajamar) – phase I and phase II: This Sub-Project is one of the components of Ciénaga de Mallorquín (Mallorquín Swamp) restoration master plan and consists of rehabilitating an existing 2.8 km railway track that connects the Las Flores neighborhood to Puerto Mocho, along the Mallorquín Swamp and the Magdalena River. The railway will be operated via a two-carriage electric train with a capacity of 70 passengers. In addition to the railway infrastructure, a parallel pedestrian and a bike lane will also be constructed. The Sub-Project will also include one parking lot, one environmental education center (with a birdwatching station and a mangrove nursery), three small train stations (one located in the parking area, a second located in the education center, and a third in Puerto Mocho), and the upgrade of approximately 2.8 km low-voltage distribution line that will run along the railway track. Other components of the Mallorquín Swamp master plan, such as the development of the eco-park, the restoration of Puerto Mocho beach, the renovation of Las Flores and La Playa neighborhoods, the water quality remediation of the Mallorquín Swamp, and other environmental interventions in Las Flores to La Playa, are out of scope of the Sub-Project. Phase I’s scope consists of the rehabilitation works of the railway track and is currently under execution (16% completed), whereas Phase II, currently in planning stage, involves the acquisition of the train and the construction of the electrical network, together with the LED lighting system.
  1. 85th Street Underground Drainage (Arroyo 85): This Sub-Project consists of the construction of an underground drainage canal to avoid and mitigate the effects of the extreme flooding on 85th street by channeling and diverting stormwater. This Sub-Project is in planning stage.
  2. Gran Bazaar, Temporary and Secondary Markets (Gran Bazaar, Mercados Temporal y Mercados Satélites): This Sub-Project consists of the construction of four dedicated market areas in downtown Barranquilla to improve conditions for street vendors and customers. The Gran Bazaar project, the largest and most representative intervention, includes the construction of permanent infrastructure such as market stalls, food court, cold storage rooms, sanitation facilities, loading and unloading areas, parking areas and administrative offices. The Gran Bazaar development is in execution (66% completed), while the other markets are in planning stage.
  1. Transformation of the Urban Environment (Transformación del Entorno Urbano):  This Sub-Project consists of the restoration and improvement of public urban spaces in the Prado and Bellavista neighborhoods (considered to be the most emblematic neighborhoods of Barranquilla) and it entails the rehabilitation /construction of sidewalks, paving of roads, allocation of parking areas, landscaping, upgrading drainage system, installing LED lighting. This Sub-Project is under execution (12% completed).
  1. Land Titling (Titulación de Predios): This Sub-Project consists of assigning property rights to families and individuals that have been living informally for more than 10 years in houses constructed on parcels officially registered as property of the Municipality of Barranquilla. The purpose is to improve access to housing by providing legal property rights to the occupants, and facilitate renovations and repairs to the houses. This Sub-Project is in planning stage.
  2. Expansion and Improvement of Education Infrastructure (Ampliación y/o Mejoramiento de la Infraestructura Educativa): This Sub-Project consists of refurbishing and expanding selected education infrastructure, with additional classrooms, amenities, laboratories, and equipment, to improve quality of education and accessibility. This Sub-Project is in planning stage and, at present, 61 education units are considered eligible for renovation and expansion.
  3. Expansion and Improvement of Healthcare Infrastructure (Modernización y Adecuación de la Infraestructura de Salud): This Sub-Project consists of refurbishing and expanding selected existing public healthcare infrastructure. At present, the Sub-Project is targeting: (i) the construction of the Regulatory Center for Urgencies and Emergencies (CRUE); and (ii) The renovation and expansion of an existing municipal vaccination center. This Sub-Project is in planning stage.
  4. Public Parks Renovations (Todos al Parque): This Sub-Project represents a continuation of the ongoing Todos al Parque master program, which has been developed in phases. This Sub-Project will include phase 6 and 7 and will entail the renovation of 54 public parks and recreational areas. This Sub-Project is in planning stage.


The Municipality of Barranquilla consists of the Central District Administration (reporting directly to the Office of the Mayor), 17 secretariats responsible for internal administrative roles (e.g., Secretariat of Human Management) and external implementation and management of public projects (e.g., Secretariats of Urban Planning, Health, Public Works, Education, among others). For the implementation of public works, decentralized entities (which are independent entities that are not controlled by the Municipality but that can be contracted to carry out public functions) can act in support of the secretariats by assisting in the financing, technical development and design, management, and supervision of urban projects. These include: (i) Puerta de Oro, manly involved in project planning and feasibility assessment; (ii) Empresa de Desarrollo Urbano de Barranquilla (EDUBAR) (Urban Planning Department of Barranquilla) involved in project management and project supervision of major public works; and (iii) Agencia Distrital de Infraestructura (ADI)  (District Infrastructure Agency) involved in public infrastructure works mainly related to recovery of water resources and infrastructure, roads, playgrounds, parks and gardens. While the Municipality is directly responsible for the Project, individual Sub-Projects are implemented by the Municipality via the respective Secretariats, with the support from decentralized entities as required. For the purpose of this report, the implementing secretariats and the decentralized entities are collectively referred to as “Implementing Entities”.

The Project is classified as Category B under MIGA’s Policy on Environmental and Social (E&S) Sustainability (2013) and the Sub-Projects are individually classified as Category B or C. To this end, the Project is not expected to result in significant E&S impacts, since all of the Sub-Projects have either potential limited adverse environmental or social risks and/or impacts that are few in number, generally site-specific, largely reversible, and readily addressed through mitigation measures, or minimal or no adverse environmental or social risks and/or impacts. Most Sub-Projects will be developed within existing footprints and in an urban context; the only exception is represented by the Tajamar Train Sub-Project that is located at the Ciénaga de Mallorquín (Mallorquín Swamp) area.

The main E&S risk is related to the capacity of the Municipality of Barranquilla to consistently implement an effective and centralized environmental and social management system (ESMS) across the Sub-Projects through the Implementing Entities. Other E&S impacts related to the Project include those typically associated with construction in urban areas (occupational and community health and safety, noise, vibration, air quality, water resource use and stormwater run-off, erosion and sediment transport and generation of solid waste), operation of public infrastructure (occupational and community health and safety) and labor and working conditions of employees and contractors, including contractor management. The Tajamar Train, Upgrade of 30th Street and the Gran Bazaar Sub-Projects resulted in minor resettlement occurrences and temporary impacts to livelihood. The Tajamar Train Sub-Project may also result in minor temporary biodiversity impacts.

While impacts are short-term, the overall Soy Barranquilla Program and the Sub-Projects are expected to result in longer-term E&S benefits from infrastructure improvement (including improved safety of roads, improved social and environmental conditions and urban livability, reduced vulnerability to flooding among others) benefitting public spaces and lower-income communities in Barranquilla.

While all Performance Standards (PSs) are applicable to this Project, based on our current information, the Project will have impacts which must be managed in a manner consistent with the following Performance Standards: 

  • PS1:  Assessment and Management of Environmental and Social Risks and Impacts
  • PS2:  Labor and Working Conditions
  • PS3:  Resource Efficiency and Pollution Prevention
  • PS4:  Community Health, Safety and Security
  • PS5: Land Acquisition and Involuntary Resettlement
  • PS6: Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Management of Living Natural Resources

PS7 Indigenous Peoples is not applicable. Although various ethnic groups exist across the Municipality, significant adverse impacts on indigenous people, lands or associated livelihoods are not expected. PS8 Cultural Heritage is not considered applicable as there are no known cultural heritage values to be protected within the project area (and in case a chance find occurs, the Municipality implements a chance find procedure for every project that includes earthworks).

In addition, the following World Bank Group (WBG) General Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) Guidelines (2007) are applicable to the Project.

The following documents were reviewed by MIGA:

  • Sub-Projects data sheets;
  • For the Sub-Projects, samples of:
    • Preliminary studies;
    • Environmental Management Plans, Social Management Plans, Traffic Management Plans;
    • Health and Safety Management Plans;
    • Environmental and social audits and reporting; 
    • Grievance registers;
    • Minutes of public meetings;
    • Risk matrixes;
  • Plan de Desarrollo Soy Barranquilla (Development Plan I am Barranquilla) 2020-2023, Barranquilla Municipality (2020);
  • Guía de Manejo Socioambiental de Obras (Social and Environmental Management Plan), EDUBAR (2021);
  • Provision of Services for the management, land acquisition and resettlement in the Projects of Barranquilla District included in the Soy Barranquilla Development Plan 2020 -2023, EDUBAR (2021);
  • Relevant decrees:
    • Decree No. 0313 of 2022, establishing the Sustainability District Comitee (Comité Distrital de Sostenibilidad);
    • Decree No. 465 of 2008 on the Resettlement Policy;
    • Decreto No 0707 de 2016, Gaceta Distrital No 424-5 on the Resettlement Policy.
  • Land-use revision and assessment of risk sensitivity and vulnerability for the amendment of the urban planning of the Ciénaga de Mallorquín basin and of the Grande and Leon streams (2015).

In addition to reviewing the above documents, MIGA’s E&S due diligence (DD) has included ongoing discussions with the Municipality since May 2022. MIGA also carried out an E&S DD site visit in September 2022, which included meetings with key Project staff of the Municipality and other Implementing Entities (Secretariat of Public Works, EDUBAR, ADI, and Puerta de Oro) and a site visit to selected Sub-Projects.

MIGA’s due diligence review considered the E&S management planning process and documentation for the Project and identified gaps (if any) between these and MIGA’s requirements. Where necessary, corrective measures, intended to close these gaps within a reasonable time period, are summarized in the paragraphs that follow and in the E&S Action Plan (ESAP) attached to this ESRS. Through the implementation of these measures, the Project is expected to be designed and operated in accordance with the Performance Standards. Key E&S issues associated with the Project business activities are summarized in the paragraphs that follow.

PS1:  Assessment and Management of Environmental and Social Risks and Impacts

Environmental and Social Assessment and Management System: The Municipality of Barranquilla has developed and implemented an Integrated Management System (IMS) (Sistema Integrado de Gestion de la Alcaldia de Barranquilla - SIGAB) aligned with national regulations and International Standard Organization (ISO) 45001:2015 – Occupational Health and Safety, ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System and ISO 9001 Quality Management System certified. The scope of the IMS is focused on the direct operations of the Municipality and its workplace, and it does not extend to the Sub-Projects.

Management of the E&S aspects of Sub-Projects primarily falls under the responsibility of the designated Implementing Entity, i.e. the relevant Secretariat and/or the decentralized entity responsible for its execution (e.g. the Implementing Entities for the Upgrade of 30th Street are the Secretariat of Public Works and EDUBAR). EDUBAR, who is primarily involved with more complex Sub-Projects (i.e. projects that may result in resettlement or large infrastructure projects with significant construction activities) has a robust Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS) in line with national and municipal regulations and broadly with MIGA PS 1 requirements; this ESMS is implemented only in projects were EDUBAR acts as the Implementing Entity. The other Implementing Entities do not have a formalized/documented ESMS compliant with PS 1, and rely on a set of standard management processes and procedures to meet the requirements of the national legislation.

In order to strengthen E&S management and supervision practices of all Sub-Projects both in execution and in planning stage, the Municipality will develop and implement an overarching Project ESMS in line with national regulations and PS 1 requirements. The Project ESMS should allow for a centralized and integrated E&S management, performance supervision and reporting of across the Sub-Projects, regardless of its Implementing Entity (ESAP 1).

Policy: The national and municipal legislation provides a robust framework by which the Municipality operates and is appropriately reflected in the Environmental Policy and Occupational Health and Safety Policy that have been developed as part of the IMS. The Soy Barranquilla Program is founded on a set of sound principles and objectives, such as environmental protection, sustainable management, social development and welfare, participation and inclusion, climate resilience; these principles guide the development and execution of the Sub-Projects and are aligned with the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals.

Identification of Risks and Impacts: preliminary scoping studies were conducted for each of the Sub-Projects by the relevant Implementing Entity; these studies, among others, establish requirements and provisions for the designated contractors, including requirements for E&S impact identification and management. According to national regulation, only projects that are considered high E&S risk require a full Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA); none of the Sub-Projects that MIGA is supporting requires an ESIA. In addition, for every project that entails construction, regardless of the level of risk, the following management plans are developed: (i) Plan de Manejo Ambiental (Environmental Management Plan or EMP); (ii) Plan de Gestion Social (Social Management Plan or SMP) as required, for projects that may have social impacts; and (iii) Plan de Manejo de Tráfico (Traffic Management Plan or TMP) if a project affects road traffic. For purposes of this document, the EMP, SMP and TMP are collectively referred to as the Management Plans. According to national regulation, approval of projects that are not considered to entail significant E&S risks and impacts, require the development and implementation of the Management Plans. For projects that do not require an ESIA, identification, the analysis and classification of risks and impacts is addressed within the scope of the Management Plans.

Management Plans have been developed for all Sub-Projects that are currently in the execution phase. Review of select Management Plans indicated that these reports are in line with PS 1 requirements, adequately identify relevant E&S risks and impacts, and are appropriate for the type, scale and location of the Sub-Projects.

Barranquilla is a coastal city exposed to multiple climate hazards and impacts, including coastal flooding from sea-level rise and storm surge, overland and river flooding due to extreme rainfall, tropical storms, and heatwaves due to consecutive days with maximum temperatures nearing 35 degrees Celsius. The Soy Barranquilla Program includes initiatives and measures aimed at reducing the vulnerability of natural and urban systems to the current and future impacts of climate change, One example is Sub-project #7, which includes the construction of an underground drainage canal to divert and convey stormwater to reduce the risk of flooding on 85th street. In order to meet the ambition of the Soy Barranquilla Development Plan, the Municipality will conduct climate risk and vulnerability assessments for all Sub-Projects to identify the extent to which climate resilience measures are required to limit adverse climate-related impacts (ESAP 2). 

Management Programs: As mentioned above, national regulation requires Management Plans to be developed in a manner that is commensurate with the level of E&S risk. The Management Plans are prepared by the contractors appointed for the execution of the Sub-Projects and reviewed by the Implementing Entity. The Management Plans are also reviewed and approved by Barranquilla Verde, the Municipal Environmental Authority. The Management Plans that were developed for the Sub-Projects adequately manage the Sub-Project’s E&S risks and impacts. The Management Plans include specific mitigation measures for each identified risk, the responsible party(ies), key performance indicators (KPIs), timeframe for implementation, compliance reporting. Contractors are responsible for recording and reporting on the Sub-Project’s E&S performance; the implementation of the management plans is subject to monthly inspections and audits by the Implementing Entity and Barranquilla Verde.

Organizational Capacity and Competency: Through Decree 0313 of 2022, the Mayor of Barranquilla created the District Sustainability Committee; a high-level, inter-institutional committee composed by the following members: (i) Mayor of Barranquilla; (ii) Project leader from the Implementing Entity; (iii) the city development management; (iv) the district’s planning Secretary; (v) the General Secretary; (vi) the Secretary of Finance and Budget office; and (vii) Project leader of Puerta de Oro. The main objective of the Sustainability Committee is to develop a set of standardized guidelines in line with International Financial Institution (IFI) sustainability standards to be adopted and implemented by the respective Municipal entities throughout the different phases of a project: formulation, planning, contracting, socialization, execution and evaluation. The Sustainability Committee is responsible for among others: (i) approving the budget for each project; (ii) annual follow up of E&S performance of the projects; and (iii) execution and compliance with sustainability policies.

As previously mentioned, the implementation of the Sub-Projects is the responsibility of the Municipality through the relevant Secretariat, with the operational support from Decentralized Entities, collectively referred to as the Implementing Entity (ies). This system is decentralized and entails a high degree of delegation. In order to standardize E&S management across the Sub-Projects, the Municipality will appoint or nominate an E&S Specialist at the Municipal level (ESAP 3), with assigned authority and accountability, responsible to oversee: (i) the development and implementation of the ESMS; and (ii) review, monitor and report on the E&S performance of the Sub-Projects. The E&S specialist will also liaise with MIGA and will report to the Sustainability Committee on E&S matters associated with the Sub-Projects.

Emergency Preparedness and Response: The Municipality’s Risk Management Office (RMO) is responsible for implementing, coordinating and directing disaster risk management in the municipal jurisdiction. The RMO establishes frameworks and processes for risk awareness and response, risk reduction and disaster management practices and climate change adaptation policies.

In the context of the Sub-Projects, the contractors are required to implement a contingency response plan that includes risk identification, emergency preparedness and response procedures, for both communities and workers. The contingency response plan is integrated in the health and safety management plan of the Sub-Projects, which among others, includes training of workers, designation of responsibility for emergency coordination, provision of equipment and resources, drills with potentially affected parties, local and emergency authorities (as applicable).  Contingency response plans are prepared in accordance with the RMO’s emergency guidelines.

Monitoring and Review: The Municipality requires the Secretariats to prepare and present weekly and monthly progress reports, that include project activities carried out to date, statement of compliance of contractors’ activities and photographic record. In the context of the Sub-Projects, contractors are required to report on the Sub-Project’s E&S performance on a monthly basis and the Implementing Entity undertakes regular site inspections and audits to assess and monitor E&S compliance.  As part of the ESMS, the Municipality will develop an E&S monitoring plan with a set of predefined E&S KPIs (ESAP 4). In addition, the Municipality will be required to submit annual E&S monitoring reports to MIGA.

Stakeholder Engagement: The Soy Barranquilla Program was developed based on an extensive stakeholder engagement process, known as Ideas for Barranquilla. Stakeholder engagement activities included public consultation meetings (63 in total) undertaken between January 23 and March 15 of 2020, and individual and collective interviews and workshops were held in different areas of the Municipality, with emphasis in low-income neighborhoods. Key Program information was disseminated through various communication channels, including social media and television ads. In addition, workshops were conducted with local experts and representatives from key cultural and commercial groups (such as members of universities and other academia, industry leaders, and Non-Governmental Organizations). Inputs received from the stakeholder engagement activities were incorporated in the design of the Soy Barranquilla Program and guided the planning and prioritization of Sub-Projects.

In relation to the Sub-Projects, stakeholder engagement is a component of the SMP and Implementation Entities (directly or through the appointed contractors) are responsible to: (i) coordinate engagement activities with the communities located in the area of intervention; (ii) promote community participation through active inclusive engagement and continuous dissemination of information; (iii) conduct stakeholder engagement activities prior, during and (as required) after construction activities have been finalized; (iv) provide evidence of engagement such as photographic records, participants lists and reports; (v) establish an information services office to respond to community queries during construction; (vi) appoint a community liaison officer who must be available to provide stakeholders with project information, addressing eventual grievance or concerns, complaints and claims; and (vii) prioritize employment of local workforce. Requirements and activities to address and manage stakeholder engagement is adequate and commensurate to the scope, type and nature of the Project.

External Communication and Grievance Mechanisms: The Municipality has developed and implemented a communication manual internal procedure for public inquiries, grievances, claims, suggestions, complaints (Procedimiento Interno PQRSD). External communication and grievance mechanisms in the context of the Sub-Projects are coordinated by the Secretariat of Communication and the Office for Citizen Relationship.

As part of the IMS, the Municipality, via the General Secretariat, aims to standardize grievance, claims, inquiries, redress mechanisms and more generally communication practices across the Secretariats. Claims and grievances related to the Municipality and also the Sub-Projects, can be raised by community members via a number of communication channels (email, mailbox, telephone, webservice or in person); grievances can be submitted anonymously and confidentially and are classified upon receipt and registered on the basis of date, location, name and surname of applicant, description of the grievance/claim/comment, proposed management and corrective action, timeframe for addressing the grievance, request for site inspection, status of the issue.

In the context of the Sub-Projects, requirements for grievance mechanisms are included in the Management Plans: contractors are contractually required to set up a grievance redress mechanism, to collect and manage grievances typically within a window of 15 days. Furthermore, contractors must also publicly display contact details and maintain a register to track grievances, claims, observations raised by the community. Per ESAP 5, the Municipality will be required to develop a grievance recording system to track grievances arising collectively from the Sub-Projects in order to monitor performance, benchmark performance of contractors in handling grievances, identify patterns, and to share lesson-learned through a systematic process.

PS2:  Labor and Working Conditions

Working Conditions and Management of Worker Relationship. As of October 2022, the Municipality has 2075 direct employees and about 1762 professional contractor staff and 1725 contractors supporting management, of which approximately 41 percent are women. The number of construction workers engaged by the contractors varies from sub-project to sub-project, ranging from approximately 15 to 450 workers.

Human Resources (HR) Policies and Procedures, Working Conditions and Terms of Employment: An assessment of Colombia’s national regulation on labor and working conditions against MIGA PS 2 concluded that the national regulation is broadly in line with MIGA PS 2 requirements. HR is managed by the Secretariat of Human Resources which among others manages the payroll and benefits of public workers in line with national regulations. The Municipality of Barranquilla is governed by Law 909 of 2004 covering the public sector. Working conditions and terms of employment are stipulated in Decree 1042 of 1978 and Decree 1046 of 1978 which regulate wages and other remunerations for workers in the public sector. The Implementing Entity requires relevant contractors to provide, in respect to their workforce, evidence of compliance against the national Federal Labor Act and the Social Security Act, which establishes minimum working conditions and terms of employment, such as working schedule, minimum salary, leave entitlements, among others. In addition, the Implementing Entity, in compliance with the national legislation, also requires employers and contractor’ firms to pay workers’ social benefits (severance pay, severance, service premium) and contribute to the Social Security System corresponding to pension, health, and occupational hazards insurance.

Workers’ Organization: Colombian national laws guarantee workers the freedom to form workers' organizations. The Municipality of Barranquilla does not restrict workers from joining workers organizations.

Non-discrimination and Equal Opportunity: Colombia labor laws prohibit discriminatory practices as well as all forms of forced labor and child labor.  Law 1010 of 2006 stipulates measures to be adopted to prevent, correct and penalize harassment at work (including sexual harassment). The Labor Committee and Health and Safety Committee at work oversee the health and wellbeing of workers and who receive and respond to allegations of sexual harassment. In addition, the Municipality has an Office of Women, Equity and Gender that among others implements programs aimed at reducing gender-based violence in the community. Support is also available to workers, if required.

Grievance Mechanism: National regulations include provisions on the establishment of mechanisms and tools to deal with complaints and grievances in the workplace. The Municipality of Barranquilla has established a dedicated channel to receive worker grievances. In addition, workers can reach out to the Labor Committee and Health and Safety Committee to raise their concerns. Contractors and workers can rely on the same grievance mechanisms available for the affected communities to raise petitions, grievances and claims, concerning the Sub-Projects and its activities; these are processed according to the citizen services system (established by The Article 74 of the Political Constitution of Colombia, Law 1755 of 2015, and decree 2623 of 2009). Additionally, workers can report any grievance and claims concerning contractual and labor issues into a dedicated portal of the Ministry of Labor. In relation to the Sub-Projects, contractors will be required to make available copies of local grievance procedures to all workers employed in the context of the Sub-Projects (ESAP 6).

Occupational Health and Safety: The Municipality of Barranquilla has in place an Occupational Health and Safety Policy which is divulged to municipal workers. As mentioned in PS 1, The Municipality of Barranquilla has developed and implemented an IMS which is among others, ISO 45001:2015 – Occupational Health and certified. The Municipality also develops and implements an occupational health and safety work plan and an annual self-evaluation report submitted to the Labor Ministry.  

Related to the Sub-Projects, the Colombian regulations include adequate guidelines for the management of specific risks, such as working at heights, working in confined spaces, and others, which must be considered in planning and execution of those activities. Contractors are assessed by their occupational health and safety practices, among others and the selected contractor is required to develop and implement a Plan del Gestión del Riesgo which includes (i) compliance with local regulations related to health and safety at work and implementation of the Occupational Health and Safety Work Plan and (ii) emergency preparedness and response plan. Contractors are required to report monthly on key performance indicators related to occupational health and safety. The appointed implementing entity responsible for the development of the sub-project also monitors and audits the performance of the contractors.

Workers Engaged by Third Parties: The General Secretariat within the Municipality of Barranquilla oversees procurement of contractors in line with the Public Procurement Law, the Procurement and Inspection Manual, and more generally according to a robust procurement system that includes a list of requirements for the following phases: (i) planning, (ii) pre-contract; and (iii) contract to ascertain that these are reputable companies. The agreement with contractors includes E&S requirements as stipulated by national regulations including the requirement to develop an Environmental Management Plan, Social Management Plan, Occupational Health and Safety Management plan, Traffic Management Plan among others. During procurement, the Implementation Entities verify that the contracted firms provide evidence of registration with the fiscal and social security systems for their workers.

PS3:  Resource Efficiency and Pollution Prevention

Resource Efficiency: The commitment to resource efficiency is reflected in the Soy Barranquilla Program and articulated in the Sustainable City Policy that stipulates conservation of main ecological structures, reduction of emissions, waste efficiency and sustainable use resources with corresponding KPIs; these include percentage of green areas recovered, water quality index, air quality index and noise index.

None of the Sub-Projects entails a large consumption of natural resources, such as water and energy. However, the development of the Sub-Projects still takes into account the resource efficiency objectives of the Soy Barranquilla Program and aims to incorporate relevant measures as part of the design. For example, as part of the Sub-Projects concerning road rehabilitation (Barrios a la Obra, Upgrade of Road 30, Upgrade of Cordialidad Avenue) includes replacing street lighting with high-efficiency LED lights.

Greenhouse gases (GHG) Emissions: During construction, GHG emissions will be limited to equipment and machineries, and expected to be substantially below the reporting thresholds for GHG. The Sub-Projects are not expected to result in additional GHG emissions during operations.

Water Consumption: Sub-Projects will not require significant amounts of water and is limited to the construction phase. Contractors are required to declare, within the EMP, the sources of fresh water that are intended to be exploited; water abstraction from dedicated boreholes must be approved by Barranquilla Verde and monitored.

Pollution Prevention: In the context of the Sub-Projects, risk of pollution occurrences, such as dust generation, increased noise and vibration, surface water, groundwater and soil contamination, spills, mismanagement of waste (especially debris) and wastewater is mostly limited to the construction phase. It is considered that potential E&S risks and impacts will be adequately managed in line with PS 3 requirements through the implementation of standard mitigation measures included in the EMP. Furthermore, the supervision regime applied to construction activities by the Implementing Entity is considered adequate to ensure an effective adoption of these measures and an appropriate control of contamination risks.

Wastes and Hazardous Materials Management: Contractors are required to establish waste management strategies within the EMP and to comply with the Integral Solid Waste Management Plan adopted by the Municipality, whose main objective is to standardize practices for collection, storage, transportation, handling, and disposal of solid waste (including hazardous and non-hazardous categories) in authorized treatment plants. Requirements include provisions and procedures for waste classification and registration, temporary on-site segregation and storage, collection to licensed third parties. Specific handling provisions are established for hazardous wastes such as dedicated storage, segregation practices, special handling and labelling. Contractors are required to record and provide the responsible Secretariats and Implementation Entities with evidence of compliance during the periodic monitoring audits.

PS4:  Community Health, Safety and Security

Community Health and Safety:  Key community health and safety risks resulting from the Sub-Projects relate to construction activities and includes dust, noise and vibration due to the movement of heavy equipment, damage to existing buildings and structures in the vicinity, traffic accidents.

The Management Plans of Sub-Projects, as required, include identification of community health and safety risks and respective mitigation measures. Mitigation measures during construction include clear demarcation of construction work areas and control access, control of construction vehicles, provision of safety information and awareness campaigns to surrounding communities.  The Management Plans also consider the proximity of existing buildings and structures and include measures to prevent structural damages. Where there are potential impacts to communities, contractors are also required to have a dedicated community liaison officer to receive and respond to grievances raised as well as provide information on the status and progress of the project. In addition, national regulation requires the contractor to develop a project TMP aimed at preventing and reducing traffic accidents.

Security Personnel: The Municipality relies on a private security company to provide site access control and security to its facilities. Contracts are renewed every year, and subject to public tendering. A service agreement is signed with the private security company and includes compliance with national law, which among others includes use of force and weapons, human rights, escalation practices and regular training. The Municipality carries out monthly reviews of the private security company in relation to compliance of contractual provisions. In addition, the regulating entity of private and public forces, the national Superintendency of Surveillance, conducts regular audits to the private security companies to check compliance with national laws.

In relation to the Sub-Projects, the contractor is responsible for hiring and managing security of the project sites, assets. Private security providers appointed by contractors in the context of the Sub-Projects are also regulated by Superintendency of Surveillance according to the same standards. Per ESAP 7, the Municipality of Barranquilla will develop a Security Management Plan in line with National law and consistent with the requirements of PS 4 to guide the use of private security forces in Sub-Projects including:  (i) assessment of risks posed by the security arrangements to those within and outside the Sub-Project sites, (ii) defining rules of conduct with respect to the use of force; (iii) raising of security related grievances via the community grievance mechanism; and (iv) responding to security related complaints and investigating allegations of unlawful or abusive acts by security personnel.

PS5: Land Acquisition and Involuntary Resettlement

General: Land acquisition for infrastructure projects in Colombia is regulated by Law 9 of 1989, Law 388 of 1997, and Law 1682 of 2013. Resettlement is regulated by Decree No. 465 of 2008 and No. 0707 of 2016. Under Colombian law, private land required for infrastructure projects of public interest are acquired through a negotiation process between the Municipality and the landowners, that in principle aims to reach mutual agreement between the parties and the voluntary transfer of ownership; however, should the negotiated settlement not be successful within a specified timeframe, then private land can be expropriated through an administrative or judicial decision. Compensation for land acquisition and economic losses related to projects of public interest is highly regulated and its process includes stakeholder engagement, socio-economic assessments of affected parties and properties, assets valuation, and compensation rates.

EDUBAR is involved in projects that require land acquisition and involuntary resettlement. EDUBAR follows a robust land acquisition and resettlement process in line with national legislation overseen by EBUBAR’s Property Acquisition and Resettlement Unit.

In accordance with national legislation, the land acquisition and resettlement process starts with a technical, legal and social appraisal of the assets through (i) engagement of affected parties, (ii) topographic records, cadaster studies and site inspections (iii) socio-economic census and characterization of the plot of land and assets located within the project site (iv) resettlement planning and compensation assessment and (v) process budgeting. These activities are undertaken by a combination of social, legal and technical teams from EDUBAR with the support from a contractor. The compensation package is in line with national legislation and consists of new housing and business premises (with a replacement value equal or higher of the displaced assets), cash compensation for legal administrative costs, economic loss, moving allowances and emergency situations. In addition, social, economic, legal, and commercial assistance is provided to project affected persons during the relocation process. 

Displacement: Since the development of the Sub-Projects is mostly within existing rights-of-way or entail interventions in existing public footprints, occurrences of land acquisition and physical and economic resettlement has been overall limited, and reported only in the following Sub-Projects:

  • Upgrade of Street 30 (Adición Calle 30): Two instances of economic displacement were reported. The Sub-Project required the resettlement of two businesses operating within a warehouse, located in Calle 30. The landowner and the businesses operators are negotiating the terms of the compensation agreements with the Municipality; it is expected that the transfer of property land rights and the economic resettlement will be completed by the end of December 2022 and by mutual agreement.  
  • Tajamar Train: According to the Mallorquín Swamp management plan (2015), the area of 26,000 sqm partially allocated for the Tajamar Train parking lot (mostly reclaimed ground obtained from the illegal fill of the swamp basin), together with the adjacent areas surrounding the swamp, was declared unsafe for residential use due to flooding and other hydrogeological risks. Subsequent geophysical and hydrogeological studies informed that the area is suitable for alternative non-residential uses, including, as parking lot for the Sub-Project. As part of disaster management preventative measure, the Municipality required any informal settlers occupying the area to evacuate; affected persons were firstly notified following an authority inspection and initial census in the area in 2018.

The 2018 census identified 35 informal households, consisting of a total of 145 individuals, including 56 minors and 27 migrants. This group occupied 31 unregistered and precarious structures. A subsequent census undertaken in October 2021 identified 25 households still occupying the area, of which 15 were declared permanent residents and therefore eligible for compensation as well as social assistance, prior and during the resettlement process. Compensation consisting of monetary subsidies in accordance with the National Resolution 0908 of 2016 (which establishes the procedures, criteria and responsibilities for the allocation of rental subsidies in the context of situations of public calamity or disaster) was paid in February 2022. The remaining 10 households were considered opportunistic settlers (i.e. households who owned a home in another sector of the Municipality) and therefore not eligible for compensation. The land acquisition and resettlement related to the area to be used for the Tajamar Train Sub-project was concluded in April 2022.

  • Gran Bazaar, Temporary and Secondary Markets: Economic displacement was reported. 105 commercial stalls and street vendors (of which 95% are classified as informal businesses) that operated the location earmarked for the Gran Bazaar between Road 41N and 43 and streets 8, 9 and 7 (property of the Municipality and of EDUBAR) were required to clear the area of intervention. For each commercial unit, EDUBAR prepared a file including details and socio-economic characterization of the affected assets, photographic records, outcomes of the social engagement. Each vendor was provided with a cash compensation proportional to the type of business and the estimated economic losses; in addition, vendors were reportedly continuing the activities in proximity of the site of intervention, therefore business disruption has been mitigated.

When construction of the Gran Bazaar is finalized, local businesses (including the 105 businesses that were compensated) will be allowed to resettle in the Gran Bazaar, and to operate under license in the new market premises. The area was also occupied by 92 building units, of which 64 were rented for commercial purposes, 13 for housing purposes, 2 for mixed use, and 13 were not classified. In accordance with the applicable compensation regime of the Decree 0465 of 2008 and 0707 of 2016, both unit-owners and tenants are eligible to receive compensation, the first for the value of the displaced assets and its replacement cost, the latter as compensation for the involuntary termination of the renting contract.  All compensation offers were accepted by the affected parties and resettlement undertaken through mutual agreement.    

Resettlement procedures were developed for the area allocated for the Tajamar Train parking lot and the Gran Bazaar Sub-Projects in line with national legislation.  

A resettlement completion audit in line with PS 5 requirements will be undertaken and any gaps addressed as part of a Corrective Action Plan which includes a timeline, budget and resource allocation based on the findings of the Audit (ESAP 8).

Community Engagement and Grievance Mechanism: A series of engagement activities, including disclosure of information and consultation with project affected persons throughout the planning and implementation of the resettlement process, was undertaken. Several meetings were held in relation to the 3 Sub-Projects and presentations were delivered to project affected persons explaining the Sub-projects, implications of land acquisition, compensation package, affected people’s rights, grievance mechanisms, and available support through legal, economic, real estate, and social advisors.

PS6: Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Management of Living Natural Resources

General: The Tajamar Train Sub-Project will be developed along the west bank of the Magdalena River and the Mallorquín Swamp. The Sub-Project will form part of a larger master plan which involves, among others, the restoration of the local ecosystem, including the construction of a mangrove nursery and water quality remediation (out of scope of the Sub-Project), with the aim of restoring the biodiversity values of the area. 

The Mallorquín Swamp is a coastal lagoon surrounded by fringed mangroves and supporting a wide range of fish species. It is located on the west bank of the mouth of the Magdalena River.  The wetland has been degraded through loss of mangroves and significant heavy metal pollution related to industrial, agricultural, and domestic discharges. Furthermore, the important exchange of fresh and marine waters has also been hindered over the years by various developments. The existing unpaved road adjacent to the swamp is also subject to traffic and uncontrolled waste disposal.  The swamp is assessed as degraded Natural Habitat.  However due to the presence of a nationally threatened habitat, mangroves, and several Critical Habitat qualifying values in the adjacent protected area, whose ranges extends over the Mallorquín Swamp, it is possible that the swamp also qualifies as Critical Habitat.  

Protected Areas and Internationally Designated Sites: The Mallorquín Swamp itself is not a protected area, or an internationally designed site of biodiversity importance. It does, however, form part of a system of lagoons formed by the Magdalena River estuary. This larger system (Sistema Delta Estuarino del Río Magdalena, Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta) is one of the most important wetland complexes in the country and is a Ramsar site, a UNESCO biosphere reserve, and a Key Biodiversity Area. This area is known to support an important population of the critically endangered hummingbird (Amazilia lilliae) and other threatened avifauna species.

Protection and Conservation of Biodiversity: Vegetation clearance and earthworks associated with the Tajamar Train Sub-Project (2.8 km small railway with two-carriage electric train, a pedestrian and a bike lane), will be limited and impacts from the overhead transmission lines on avifauna are unlikely.  Provisions to avoid, mitigate and compensate for any loss of Natural Habitat have been included in the relevant Management Plans. In addition, a Biodiversity Management Plan (BMP) will be developed for the Sub-Project (ESAP 9). This includes the requirement to undertake a desktop Biodiversity Assessment (BA), in line with PS 6.  Findings from the BA will be used to inform the design of the Sub-Project. If the Biodiversity Assessment indicates that Critical Habitat-triggering species use the Sub-Project area, additional fieldwork may be required to evaluate the potential impacts on those species. If additional management or compensation actions are required over and above the measures proposed in the master plan to improve the Mallorquín Swamp, these will be incorporated into a Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) (ESAP 10) to ensure net gain of critical Habitat qualifying values.


Ecosystem Services: Impacts to local fishermen as a result of the Tajamar Train Sub-Project are expected to be negligible as they will be able to continue their activities without restriction. In addition, fishermen will benefit from water quality improvements and infrastructure developments planned as part of the Mallorquín Swamp master plan.

A Broad Community Support determination is not required for the Project.

For additional information on the Project, please contact:


  • Name & Title: Lizette Bermejo – Legal advisor for external credit and multilateral

Address: Calle 34 No. 43-31 – Barranquilla, Colombia.


Phone: 57 3145953662



MIGA supports its clients (as defined in MIGA Policy on Environmental and Social Sustainability) in addressing environmental and social issues arising from their business activities by requiring them to set up and administer appropriate grievance mechanisms and/or procedures to address complaints from Affected Communities.

In addition, Affected Communities have unrestricted access to the Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman (CAO), the independent accountability mechanism for MIGA. The CAO is mandated to address complaints from people affected by MIGA-guaranteed business activities in a manner that is fair, objective, and constructive, with the goal of improving environmental and social project outcomes and fostering greater public accountability of MIGA.

Independent of MIGA management and reporting directly to the World Bank Group President, the CAO works to resolve complaints using a flexible, problem-solving approach through its dispute resolution arm and oversees project-level audits of MIGA’s environmental and social performance through its compliance arm.

Complaints may relate to any aspect of MIGA-guaranteed business activities that is within the mandate of the CAO. They can be made by any individual, group, community, entity, or other party affected or likely to be affected by the environmental or social impacts of a MIGA-guaranteed business activity. Complaints can be submitted to the CAO in writing to the address below:


Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman
International Finance Corporation
2121 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Room F11K-232
Washington, DC 20433 USA
Tel: 1 202 458 1973
Fax: 1 202 522 7400